Low setting of feedback regulation of TSH secretion by thyroxine in pituitary dwarfism with TSH-releasing hormone deficiency.J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1976 Feb; 42(2):385-90.JC
Four patients with idiopathic pituitary dwarfism were shown to have growth hormone (GH), adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), and luteinizing hormone (LH) deficiencies. Basal levels of thyrotropin (TSH) were within normal range in three patients and slightly elevated in one. Exaggerated and delayed responses were obtained after TSH-releasing hormone (TRH) stimulation. Serum thyroxine (T4) values were low (2.3 +/- 0.4 mug/100 ml), while triiodothyronine (T3) levels were in the normal range (1.22 +/- 0.25 ng/ml), both rising substantially after exogenous TSH and consecutive TRH administration. Their hypothyroid state was, therefore, probably due to TRH deficiency. To examine the dose of L-T4 necessary to produce inhibition of the TSH response to TRH, 50 mug/m2/day of L-T4 was administered to these patients. At the end of 4 weeks of replacement, serum T4 rose to 5.2 +/- 0.5 mug/100 ml, whereas T3 was unchanged from the previous levels, after which TSH responses to TRH were completely suppressed in all patients. As a control group, six patients with primary hypothyroidism received gradually increasing doses of L-T4 for 4-week periods, and TSH response to TRH was tested at the end of each dosage of L-T4, until complete inhibition of TSH release was obtained. The primary hypothyroid patients required approximately 150 mug/m2/day of L-T4 for suppression of TSH response to TRH. At this dosage, serum T4 and T3 levels were 8.5 +/- 0.9 mug/100 ml and 2.34 +/- 0.5 ng/ml respectively, which were significantly higher than those levels in the pituitary dwarfs (P less than 0.001 for T4 and P less than 0.01 for T3). These observations indicate that the set point of TSH release in feedback inhibition by throxine is low in idiopathic hypopituitarism with TRH deficiency, and TRH seems to control the pituitary sensitivity to feedback regulation of thyroid hormones.